Back from Worldcon!

So, it’s been an epic weekend. Friday morning the 15-year-old and I packed up and boarded a plane bound for Spokane. It was his first Worldcon, and he got a badge ribbon saying so.

I want to say first up that at least from my angle, the folks running the convention did a great job. I know a lot of hard work goes into putting on a con, even a small one, and this was not small. The people who do that hard work are all volunteers, and this year that work was particularly thankless, and so I want to give them props. Thanks, everyone who worked to make Sasquan so much fun!

The 15-year-old and I got in Friday afternoon, dropped our things in the hotel room, and went straight to the convention center to badge up. Ran almost straight away into S. Hutson Blount, who I had not seen for ages and was thinking maybe I wouldn’t have a chance to talk to because of schedules, so that was awesome! Ran next into the Escape Artists crew, which made me super happy.

The only panel I actually attended (that I wasn’t actually, you know, a panelist for) was on writing for video games. The 15-year-old is into video games and occasionally has thoughts of actually making one, so I figured he might like that. Plus, Scalzi was on his list of people he thought it would be awesome to meet, and was on the panel, so I figured I could kill two birds with one stone and fix the kid up.

He did have a good time at the panel, and after we went back and had room service supper, and he decided to skip the rest of the evening’s events, which were, basically, three different meetups that I really wanted to attend that were happening nearly all at the same time.

Which was probably smart, because some time that afternoon a wind had kicked up and blown a shitload of smoke into town. There were health alerts telling us that everyone should stay indoors if we possibly could because the air was super unhealthy for everyone. I heard smoke alarms were going off some places inside the convention center, it was so bad. So of course I walked the half mile from the hotel–or what would have been a half mile if I hadn’t gotten turned around and had to consult Google for instructions on how to get unlost. This would normally have been fine–I actually don’t mind getting mildly lost in new places, I often see cool things, and Spokane actually has some pretty neat buildings, and a nice river-side park with sculptures and really it’s a nice place to walk. Only, you know, it’s better when the atmosphere is actually breatheable. I spent the rest of the weekend with a sore throat and a mild cough.

Had a great time at the meetups, though! It was great seeing people from Launchpad, and to talk to folks at the EA meetup, and of course to get a chance to hang with Clarion West peeps.

Saturday I had a panel on C.J. Cherryh–got a chance to meet Jack Campbell, who was also on the panel, which pleased me, since I’d read the first couple Lost Fleet books and enjoyed them–and Jo Walton said everything I wanted to say about how awesome Cherryh is and more. I also had a panel on the New Space Opera, which was a lot of fun, and well-moderated by Rich Horton. I also got a chance to tour the dealers room with the 15-year-old, who got himself a nifty t-shirt and a personalized button (“These things never have my name on them,” complained the child named after King Arthur’s nephew (sorry, kid, totally my fault) and the person at the booth said, “We do them custom, it’ll take just a couple minutes!”). We also got presents for Mr. Leckie and the 18-year-old, so that was excellent.

Saturday evening I will talk about in another post.

Sunday was signing–the line did not stop the entire hour, which was pretty validating, let me tell you–and I gave away lots of pins and lanyards and even temporary tattoos. Yes, I went completely around the bend but it was so fun. Same at my reading, where I gave out swag, read the opening of Chapter 1 of Ancillary Mercy, answered great questions from the audience, and raffled off four printouts of the first three chapters of Mercy.

And the writers workshop, which was me and Anaea Lay and Jillian Redfern and Lori White and three hopeful (and quite promising!) writers who were brave enough to show us their novel chapters. I enjoyed that a lot.

And then, finally (because we’d been trying to meet up all weekend) dinner with Ellen Klages. And Vonda McIntyre. (Me, sitting there going “Be cool, Ann, be cool.”) I considered finding parties and hanging out more, but I’d been going non-stop pretty much all weekend and it was time to collapse.

And now I’m home! And tired, but happy, because I had a blast. Thanks again to all the folks who worked so hard to make Sasquan happen! And everybody else–I’ll see you in KC!

5 thoughts on “Back from Worldcon!

  1. Ah C. J. Cherryh, one of my favourite authors. Rimrunners is my favourite of the Merchanter universe series, but the Chanur books part are lots of fun to read too.

  2. B
    Bob says:

    It was such a pleasure to meet you, and thank you for signing my copy of SWORD and the Awn Elming pin.
    Yeah, I have not seen smoke that bad here in Spokane in the 24 years I’ve lived here – I had to walk in it Friday from the convention center up to near I-90 to pick my car up from the tire dealer, and man it nailed me hard – and I’m not an “at risk” type of person. I understand the only time it was worse was when Mt. St. Helens blew its top and dumped a ton of ash here. So, you know, small favors and all that…
    If we’re lucky enough to have you return to Spokane, let’s hope it’s in the spring, where the trees are lush and the river is ROARING.
    Thank you again, and I can not WAIT until October and MERCY!

    1. Ann says:

      You are so very welcome! And I hope I get to see Spokane some time without the smoke!

  3. B
    Bret Grandrath says:

    Indeed a pleasure to meet you, you know…face to face not text on a monitor. Thanks for putting up with all of us fanboys and fangirls. And thanks for the swag….very cool.

  4. W
    Wilson F says:

    I really enjoyed meeting you in person, Ann.

    I also enjoyed the Cherryh panel. The only fiction of hers I’ve ever read were stories from the Thieves World anthologies and unfortunately, I didn’t especially enjoy them, so I assumed I wouldn’t like anything she wrote and never tried anything else.

    It was cool to find out that there is probably something – much, even – that I would like, so I’ll be looking for that.

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